Costa Rican support for right to xerox in DU

Costa Rican support for right to xerox in DU

Students abroad back campaign on copying books

 Delhi University students under the banner of Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge (ASEAK), involved in fighting a legal battle against a copyright infringement case filed by a consortium of publishers, received a letter of solidarity from students of universities in Costa Rica, South America.

The case was filed against the photocopy shop owner on the premises of Delhi School of Economics (DSE).

“In support and solidarity with students, academics and photocopying shops in India who are fighting in defence of access to education, work and culture. The right to work, to access and dissemination of information, culture and education are inherited and inviolable rights that equally belong to every person and culture of the world, therefore it is humanity’s heritage,” said the March 31 letter signed by Joshua Aguirre Thomas, who is part of the ‘photocopying for studying’ movement.

Thomas wrote that students in his country had faced a similar situation some years ago.
“Four years ago, we experienced something similar to what you are now experiencing. Ever since then, we have been promoting a law to allow students to photocopy books. Even though we got the Parliament’s approval for that law, the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla was influenced by publishers and the American Chamber of Commerce, and she rejected it. But we will not stop until we achieve our goal,” he wrote.

The letter asked the courts of India not to be under the pressure of publishers.
“The only thing these companies want to do is to privatise education and culture, and be the only ones entitled to decide who can access information, reducing that possibility just to those who have money to pay for it,” the letter stated.

ASEAK member Usman Jawed said discussions are on with students of other countries to join them.

For education’s sake
“Talks are on with students in the UK, especially Sussex, who are fighting for access to public funded education,” he said.

In August 2012, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis Group had filed a suit against Delhi University and the licenced photocopy shop. The publishers claimed that photocopying of study material is an infringement of their copyright, and claimed damages in excess of Rs 60 lakh.

In October 2012, the Delhi High Court passed an interim injunction staying further photocopying of ‘course packs’ that are essentially compilation of prescribed reading material in DSE.

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